Statement attributable to the acting Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Mr. Sikander Khan [EN/SO]

(Mogadishu/Nairobi, 27 March 2014): I am deeply concerned that over 10 people were injured, including at least six children, and others were exposed to severe danger due to mortar shelling affecting several densely populated civilian areas in Mogadishu. This attack is a clear violation of international humanitarian law that prohibits indiscriminate attacks as occurred in the night of 25 March.

The mortar shelling affected one settlement where displaced people reside in the outskirts of Mogadishu. The humanitarian nature of such settlements must not be violated and the protection of civilians must be upheld as a matter of priority also in times of armed conflict. The attack comes amidst a worrying security situation in the capital, which impacts on the protection and provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians and particularly to vulnerable internally displaced people, most of whom have been evicted to insecure areas of the capital.

I call on all parties to uphold their obligations under international law, in particular under international humanitarian law and human rights law and to refrain from further actions which could harm innocent people.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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